I have lived in the Tri-Cities for my entire life, and graduated from Richland High School in 2009. To me, the Hanford Site was just a place out in the desert where my dad worked and spoke a language of acronyms that I didn't understand. It wasn't until the summers after my sophomore and junior years of college that I really gained an understanding of the significance that Hanford and the Manhattan Project have for our community. Being an intern for the last two summers on assignment to the Department of Energy has been an eye-opening experience for me. Through touring the Hanford site, talking with DOE employees, and attending meetings about current projects, I have gained a deep appreciation for the community in which we live.
The history and science behind the project is simply fascinating, and the number of jobs that have been created from the project is mind boggling. Plain and simple, the Tri-Cities as we know it would not exist today had it not been for the Manhattan Project. It took me 21 years to begin to understand what the Manhattan Project has done for our community, and I still have a lot to learn. If anyone out there is curious about Hanford, I encourage you to do some research so you can fully appreciate the historical significance of the place that we call home.
-- LAUREN DAVIES, West Richland